The pros and cons of air fryers and whether they are worth it for you!
Tis’ the season for spreading joy and warmth to those around you. Tis’ also the season for finding the perfect holiday gift for friends and loved ones.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are about to flood your inbox, and Air fryers remain one of the top kitchen appliances on people’s holiday wish lists.
This appliance has taken American kitchens by storm, but are they all they’re cracked up to be? Are air fryers healthy? Do you really need an air fryer and more importantly, are they worth it? Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of air fryers and whether it should make your holiday wish list this season.
What Are the Pros and Cons of an Airfryer?
Air fryers are easy to use cooking appliances that promise to deep fry your favorite recipes without the mess of using oil. Air fryers work by using convection heat to cook your food instead of relying on hot oil. The result is like traditional frying methods, however, as it leaves food brown and crispy on the outside yet tender and moist inside.
Basically, you get to eat fried food without the added calories and fat from cooking oils. Sounds too good to be true but It’s not, it really works. What’s even better is that airfrying takes less time than other cooking methods, like gas or electric ovens. But while this is certainly a bonus for air fryers, they don’t come without their setbacks.
Below are a list of pros and cons of air fryers for you to consider before purchasing one for yourself or someone else.
Crispy Foods Without the Mess
The number one draw of using an air fryer is being able to cook traditionally deep-fried foods without needing a hot, boiling vat of cooking oil. You still get crispy delicious food but won’t have to deal with the cleanup that comes from using oil.
Air fryers don’t require you to use any oils or butter to cook your food. Reducing your saturated fat intake is healthier for you in the long run. It can help to reduce your cholesterol levels and daily calorie intake, which can lead to weight loss over time.
Faster Cooking Times
Air fryers heat up and cook food more quickly than other types of ovens. Most brands of air fryers will heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit in five minutes or less. Gas ovens can take up to 13 minutes to reach 400 degrees Fahrenheit while electric ovens may take up to 19 minutes. An air fryer can also cook your food more quickly because the heat is more concentrated in a smaller chamber than larger ovens.
Air fryers typically have a non-stick surface that makes it easier to hand wash or put in the dishwasher. Because there is no oil necessary for use, there is generally little mess to clean up. Unlike traditional frying methods, which require you to dispose of extra cooking oil. You’ll also likely be left cleaning oil splatters from kitchen countertops and floors.
Easy To Use
Most air fryers are easy to program without much of a learning curve. Many air fryers have digital touch screens that allow you to set cooking temperature or choose from pre-programmed settings. Cooking with an air fryer is as simple as pressing a button and walking away to let it do its magic.
Air fryers take up a significant amount of counter space, even the smaller models. They are also quite tall for a kitchen appliance, which makes them more difficult to store in cabinets. If you have limited kitchen space, an air fryer might not be for you.
The cooking capacity of even the largest air fryer is relatively small compared to conventional ovens. If you have a large family or want to cook in bulk, an air fryer isn’t your best option. Air fryers work best for cooking small batches of food.
You Can’t Cook Everything
Air fryers are great for cooking a variety of foods and recipes, but not all foods cook well in an air fryer. Broccoli, for example, dries out and tastes like cardboard when cooked in an airfryer. Other foods that don’t cook well in an air fryer include wet battered foods, cheese, raw grains, leafy greens, whole roasts or chicken, pork bacon, toast, and popcorn.
More Cleanup Than Conventional Ovens
Though air fryers are easier to clean up after use than traditional deep frying, they require more clean-up than conventional ovens. When using a conventional oven, the only cleanup required is generally a pot or a pan. An air fryer requires you to clean the air frying basket, heating element, pan, and exterior.
They Can Be Pricey
Though air fryers can be as low as $50, they can cost you up to $1000 or more. For a decent, well-reviewed air fryer machine, you’re looking at a price tag of $120 and up. Though not entirely unreasonable for a kitchen appliance, it might be a bit pricey for a gift.
Are Airfryers Healthy?
Air fryers are thought of as healthier than traditional methods of cooking because they don’t require the use of cooking oils or fats. On average, air frying your food can cut calories by up to 70% to 80% with a lot less fat. However, an air fryer is not your passport to daily French fry consumption! Sorry :(
How does that compare to deep frying, pan sauteing, or oven frying?
Again, air fryers don’t require oil or butter to cook your French fries, vegetables, meat, etc. The air fryer will heat and crisp your food using air flow and heat. Other methods of cooking require some kind of cooking oil or grease to heat food properly and make it crispy. Using cooking oil will add more calories and fat to your meal.
However, how many calories and fat is dependent on how much cooking oil you use. It is possible to cook a healthy meal in an oven or saucepan if you use only a small amount of cooking oil. Furthermore, some plant oils, like olive oil and avocado oil, are good for you.
These types of fats should be consumed in small amounts on a regular basis. Nixing them from your diet entirely isn’t beneficial to your health. But if you are looking to cut back on calories, an air fryer can help you cook lower calorie meals without sacrificing taste.
Is An Air Fryer Good for Weight Loss?
An airfryer can be good for weight loss when combined with other healthy habits. If you use your air fryer to cook foods,you’d normally add oil or butter to, it can help you cut back on calories and fat. Over time, this absence of calories will lead to fat loss.
That being said, an air fryer is not a magic bullet for weight loss. Air fryers are only as healthy as the foods you cook in them. Air frying does not reduce the calorie or fat content of food itself. It simply reduces the need for added ingredients that add calories.
Do I Really Need Air Fryer?
NEED? That depends on your lifestyle and personal food preferences. Air fryers make it simple to fry, crisp, and roast a variety of foods and recipes. It makes cooking faster and easier to clean up. Having an air fryer makes it easier for you to cook healthy meals, meaning you may be less likely to indulge on unhealthy foods. This appliance might be the one that gets your non-vegetable eaters to try actually try a veggie!
But if you have a small kitchen or have a lot of people to feed at one time, an air fryer may be impractical. Air fryers work best in kitchens with ample space and for cooking small amounts of food at a time. They also cannot cook everything. You will still need a conventional oven or stove top for some foods and recipes.
What Type of Air Fryer Should You Get?
Air fryers range from very basic to multi-functional. What type of air fryer you should get depends on your lifestyle and preferences (or those of the person you’re gifting it to). The different types of air fryers include:
● Solo Air Fryer: A solo air fryer is the most basic of its kind. Solo air fryers are best for cooking for 1-2 people. This type of air fryer is generally best for most people because they are smaller and more cost efficient. If you’re new to air frying, this model is best to start with.
● Air Fryer With Toaster Oven: This type of air fryer both looks and works like a standard toaster oven but with the capability to air fry food. With this type of air fryer, you can also bake, broil, roast, or toast your food when you’re not using it for air frying. It’s like having a second oven. These types of air fryers are also larger and can cook more food, which is ideal for people with larger families.
● Air Fryer and Multi-Cooker: The air fryer and multi-cooker is the most advanced type of air fryer on the market. This type of airfryer works like an instant pot with an air fryer function. It’s a great option if you are looking for both a pressure cooker and air fryer but don’t have the kitchen space for both.
The Bottom Line
If you’re someone who is looking for an easier way to cook healthy meals at home, an air fryer may be worth it. They can cook a variety of different foods and recipes in a relatively short amount of time. While they’re not a magic bullet for weight loss, they may help you shed a few pounds, and add more vegetables to your regular rotation.
Air fryers make useful kitchen appliances for cooking small, quick meals at home. They are easy to use and easy to clean. But they don’t come without their disadvantages. Whether an air fryer is worth it depends on your lifestyle and preferences or those of the person you’re buying one for. Before you check this one off your list this holiday season, make sure an air fryer is right for you …or the person you’re giving it to.